Yesterday I shared about the main goal of a missionary and how many times I have neglected it. The second Missionary Mistake I would like to share, is the mistake of always giving and never receiving.
When we first arrived to Argentina, we had just came from missionary training in Arequipa, Peru. Our heads and hearts were full with passion and desire and we immediately began to use what God had taught us. I began to realize that in a short time I had given out all the information I knew through preaching, teaching, and the helping of others. I was now empty and what was I going to do. I had heard of missionaries leaving the field to go continue their studies, but that was not the solution for me.
I began to see that at my reach, I had good books, tapes and friends that were willing to help me … I had just neglected the tools that were within reach. Just recently I renewed my commitment to read more, keep up to date with others, and grow in my own life.
God has given us great young men in our churches that are desirous of serving the Lord. But as a growing child needs good, substantial food to grow, so does a new Christian. But how were they going to grow if I myself was not growing. So my dilemma was not the lack of desirous Christians, rather the lack of my own personal growth. I had given, but quit receiving.
I once heard that in 5 years, you will be made of the books you read and the people you meet. I began to see that the years go by, but I am still the same person. I have decided that from now on, the years will not pass without me growing and maturing. Don’t let the years pass in your ministry and life by being the same person as last year.
Ephesians 4:11 shares with us that God has placed the spiritual leaders (you and I) and vs. 12 tell us that the reason is “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry”. They are going to do the work of the ministry, but how are they going to do it if I do not teach them how … therefore I must grow.
How many times have I found myself so busy in the “ministry” that I have neglected growth in my own life. And if I don’t grow, they don’t grow. So my challenge … that you will commit to pick up those books and tools to grow. Don’t let the years go by without growing. Not only will you grow, but those that follow you will too.